CIE Ranch manager Keith Cronin will hope lightning strikes twice in Greenogue when they take on UCD in Friday night’s FAI Cup second round tie.
Cronin saw his side lift the Lummy O’Reilly Cup there two years ago thanks a 1-0 win over Mullingar Athletic and he’ll look for more of the same in their latest cup outing there.
Ranch were the only one of the seven Dublin sides to be drawn at home in the last 16 but have been forced to move the tie as their CIE Works ground doesn’t meet the requirements for a cup game.
Rather than potentially ceding home advantage to the Students and playing in UCD, Ranch opted to keep the game local and agreed to play at the home of Peamount United.
And Cronin – who led his side to the LSL Sunday Senior 1B title last season – knows they’ll need all the luck they can get when they host First Division champions-elect UCD.
“We’re not blind to the fact we’re going in against a totally different standard of football we’re used to,” Cronin told the Dublin Gazette.
“You’ve just to go and give it a go. We’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. They’re the team that has everything to lose.
“They’re going to the top league and they’re not there by luck. They’re there because they’re a good side. A lot of the youngsters coming through would be a lot fitter than we would be.
“Obviously you want to get a big League of Ireland team and get an away draw in a stadium with a crowd, but it is what it is. It’s going to be an experience going against UCD.”
CIE ran out 1-0 winners against Dublin Bus at Coldcut Park last time out thanks to a goal deep in injury time from midfielder Dean O’Brien.
Cronin will go into the game without his captain, Darren Brady, and striker Liam Cummins. Glen McCabe, who started the Bus game, is injured while striker Paul Dunphy is on holiday.
“Dublin Bus was a great game, obviously. To win it with the last kick of the ball was brilliant for the lads. They’ve worked hard in pre-season and that was a bonus to win that game.
“Then to beat Beggsboro away in our first match of the season, that’s our bread and butter, isn’t it? That was a great win. But it’s disappointing we’ve picked up so many injuries in pre-season.
“It’s not great but the lads who are there, we’re not a squad of 11, we’re a squad of 18 or 19. The lads coming in are as good as what’s going out.
“Their attitude is unbelievable for a bunch of lads down there. They didn’t come from Premier Sunday all the way up to the last 16 in the FAI Cup without having the right attitude.”